Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Another Day, Another FBI Raid of an Ohio Charter School

I have to admit, I'm kind of amazed by this. Apparently, the Concept Schools, which run Horizon Academies and other Charter Schools, primarily in Ohio, are under FBI investigation for issues with a federal grant meant to go toward upgrading technology in their buildings.

As I've said many times before, I'm not opposed to Charter Schools, just the way they operate in Ohio. I've been especially concerned about how the taxpayers can't find out how for-profit operators spend public dollars, and other transparency and accountability issues. Now, perhaps, you understand why.

In a non-scientific experiment, I did a simple Google search on "FBI Ohio Charter School" and here's what I found:

  • The FBI looking into a Pittsburgh Charter for using money to build another operation in Youngstown.
  • The FBI looking into a shady accountant who was the financial officer for several Charters.
  • The FBI looking into the Mary L. Dinkins Charter for financial and academic irregularities.
  • The FBI receiving the eventual conviction of a Dayton Charter CEO for stealing $1.8 million from his Charter School.
  • An Ohio-based Charter consulting firm is raided by the FBI as part of the investigation into the Pennsylvania Charter Cyber School.
And those are just since 2011. The only story that popped up under "FBI Ohio 'Public School'" was the 2012 probe into alleged data scrubbing at several school districts.

Now Google searches aren't nearly as thorough as some other databases. But what you should notice is this FBI investigation stuff happens a lot more in Ohio's Charter School system than it's traditional public school system.

I'm just guessing here, but my guess as to why that is? Perhaps it's because people in traditional public schools operate in the open. People in Charter Schools do not. Sunshine is the best disinfectant, after all.